bluebird bio (BLUE) IPO Opens Sharply Higher

The IPO for bluebird bio (Nasdaq: BLUE) opened for trading at $25.50 after pricing at $17, above the expected $14-$16 range. The company sold 5.9 million shares in the IPO, raising just over $100 million. The IPO size was raised from 5 million shares.

J.P. Morgan and BofA Merrill Lynch are leading the IPO.

bluebird bio is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on transforming the lives of patients with severe genetic and orphan diseases using gene therapy.

bluebird bio and its scientific collaborators have generated what they believe is human proof-of-concept data for their gene therapy platform in two underserved diseases, each of which has been granted orphan drug status by U.S. and European regulatory authorities. They expect to initiate in late 2013 a Phase II/III clinical study of their most advanced product candidate, Lenti-D, to evaluate its safety and efficacy in subjects with childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, or CCALD, a rare, hereditary neurological disorder affecting young boys that is often fatal. They also expect to initiate in mid-2013 Phase I/II clinical studies in the United States and Europe of their next most advanced product candidate, LentiGlobin, to evaluate its safety and efficacy in subjects with Ã-thalassemia major and, in the European clinical study, sickle cell disease, or SCD, which are rare, hereditary blood disorders that often lead to severe anemia and shortened lifespans. In addition, in March 2013, the company announced a global strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation (Nasdaq: CELG) to discover, develop and commercialize novel, disease-altering gene therapies in oncology.

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